Monday, March 3, 2008

Driving Mt. Lemon

The summit of Mt. Lemon is 9,100' above sea level. It is reached by driving the 28-mile Catalina Highway, as it is called. It's official name is the General Hitchcock Highway in honor of the Postmaster General Frank Harris Hitchcock, who was responsible for bringing together the resources to build this highway which was started in 1933 and completed in 1950. The elevation at the beginning of the drive is 3,000', making it a gain of 6,100'. We left the Diamond J RV park at about 10:45 this morning, and we drove for an hour across Tucson before we started the ascent. We stopped in Summerhaven, near the summit of the mountain, which is not much more than a cafe, post office and community center. We got a sandwich and a piece of pie to share. Then we headed back down and got back to the RV park around 3:30.

We enjoyed this drive, which according to the National Forest, is biologically like driving from the deserts of Mexico to the forests of Canada. I think it reminded us both a lot of Colorado, so it was in some ways, much like other drives we've been on many times. But at least now we can say, yes, we've been to the top of Mt. Lemon!

This was taken from one of the overlooks, with the view to the west across Tucson, through what I call layers of mountains. The pointed mountain in the far background is Baboquivari, considered to be a sacred mountain by the Indians.

I took this as we approached a curve near the top of the mountain.

Here's one of the many interesting rock formations, or "hoodoos" along the way.

This picture is looking up at the road above us!

On the way down, we passed this interesting house.

Yes, we did see some snow, but I figured many of my readers have seen enough snow this year, so I spared you any more!


Anonymous said...


You called me a Hoodoo? That was me!

Charles aka Roz

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous pics! Reminds me so much of our trip out west last summer. Thanks for sharing. Kerry